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The 80 m high Banja Dam and associated 73 MW hydropower installation constitutes the first phase of the Devoll Hydropower Project, which consists of two dams and hydropower plants on the Devoll River in southern Albania.
Construction of the scheme commenced in the 1980s but works were abandoned in the 1990s in a partially completed state due to collapse of the local economy. At that point, some embankment fill, the cofferdams, part of the grout curtain, grouting gallery and the headrace tunnel had been completed. The design and construction of the recent works were complicated by the need to test, if necessary remediate, and incorporate the already-constructed infrastructure. Works also needed to account for highly variable abutment conditions and source materials.
Construction work at the site recommenced at the end of 2013, and impoundment of the reservoir commenced on 15 April 2016 reaching its Normal Operating Level of 175masl in October 2016. The first export of power to the national grid occurred on 31 August 2016.
Mott MacDonald, in joint venture with Coyne et Bellier of France, provided Owner's Engineering services for the Banja HPP Project. This included design review, project and commercial management with construction supervision of the Works.
The presentation will describe the challenges and techniques used during the construction of the recent works. It will focus on the dam and spillway though will also refer to the intake tower, tunnel, penstock and powerhouse construction.